Curd rice (Thayir Sadam)

Curd rice, a south Indian favourite is one of my comfort foods as well, especially during summers. Curd rice is simple, quick and easy to prepare but gives immense pleasure while eating for those who love curd rice. In Chennai or any part of south India, Kerala or Karnataka, you can find this popular curd rice with different names such as Thayir Sadam in Tamil (Tamil Nadu), Perugu Annam in Telugu (Andhra), Mosaranna or Bagalabath in Kannada (Karnataka). Curd rice is best served with lime pickle or potato crisps - it very simple but very delicious to eat.

In South India, most of the families prefer to end their meal with either rice and curd (yoghurt) or just plain butter milk. Apart from these it is very popular and commonly used for lunch box and for long journeys to avoid eating outside food and to save time - as it is easy to pack and the most important part being that it can be eaten cold. During summers or any time of the year for that matter, this plain rice and curd (yoghurt) is seasoned and enjoyed at home or for lunch box or for long journeys. There are so many variations and each family adopts as per their convenience and taste.

During my childhood, curd rice used to be the one for my lunch box, which is easy and quick to prepare and eaten with just pickle or potato fry. When we used to make long journeys in trains, I used to see the pantry person coming for each coach and taking orders for the dinner, which will be meals or curd rice or lemon rice, etc. Apart from that even in the railways stations vendors will be calling thayir sadam, thayir sadam, which means curd rice so that people can hear him and buy. The curd rice is served with pickle and salt, but it can be sour as we don’t know when it is packed. So, most of the families prefer to make this easy dish at home for travelling or for lunch box. If it is hot summer and packing for journeys or picnics, then add more milk and less curd, as it will form curd after a few hours. If only curd is used, keeping it for a longer time will make the curd rice sour.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: Tamil Nadu

Spiciness: Medium

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • Rice (ponni rice) – 1 cup
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Curd (thick) – 2 cups
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Tadka/Seasoning

  • Oil/ghee – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal (optional) – 1/2 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida) – 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger (chopped) – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 15
  • Green chillies (chopped, optional) – 3
  • Dry chillies – 4 to 5
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – few
  • Additional ingredients

  • Raisins – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 10 to 15
  • Pomegranate seeds – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Carrot (grated) – 1/3
  • Cucumber – 3 to 4 tbsp

Method

  • Wash the rice and soak for 1/2 hour. Pressure cook the rice with 4 cups of water or any vessel. Cook the rice until it is very soft and mushy type (creamy texture) similar to risotto or rice pudding or as per your taste. Allow to cool.
  • Mix curd, 1 cup of water and milk in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps. Keep it aside.
  • Heat the vessel and add oil. When hot, add mustard seeds, dry chillies, green chillies, curry leaves and let it splutter for a few seconds.
  • Add ginger and hing (asafoetida) in the end and switch off. Allow to cool.
  • Take a big bowl, add rice and curd mixture. Mix well.
  • Add the seasoning mixture, coriander leaves and mix well.
  • This is the basic seasoned rice, which is very easy, quick and handy as the ingredients are all readily available and suits for long journeys.
  • Variations in curd rice

  • Before seasoning, you can add cucumber and carrot as vegetables.
  • Add cashews and raisins while seasoning in ghee. It gives a good crunch and a sweet taste.
  • Add fruits like grapes and pomegranate right at the end while serving as it can change the colour of the curd rice. In Karnataka, raisins, cashews and pomegranate are added and is known as mosaranna.
  • I have added additional ingredients as per my taste. I have added carrot and cucumber before seasoning the rice.
  • While seasoning in ghee/oil, I added raisins, but forget to add cashews, which I separately seasoned.
  • Combine seasoning to the curd rice with chopped coriander leaves, mix well and serve in a serving bowl.
  • Garnish with few more grated carrot, pomegranate or raisins, green chillies and serve.
  • Your delicious curd rice is ready to serve. Serve with mango or lime pickle.

Notes

  • Never add curd (yoghurt) to hot rice, it can curdle.
  • Add sufficient curd to the rice and rice has to be very soft and mushy.
  • While serving, if it becomes hard or dry, just loosen with more curd or milk or add little water as per your taste.
  • If for long journey or lunch box, add sufficient warm milk to the cooked rice in the morning and add little curd (yoghurt) and mix well. By lunch time it will become curd rice, but without any sour taste. For instance, add 1 1/2 cup warm milk to 1/2 cup cooked rice and add 2 tsp of yoghurt and mix well.
  • Even if in uk for hot or cold weather (as here my curd rice never goes sour), travelling for a long journey for picnic with friends, I prepare curd rice in the night, refrigerate and just pack it. While serving for lunch, if dry just add water as per the consistency and serve.

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